Your first thought might be why should I do this? This seems like a lot of work!

Many people say I'm not eating much at all or I don't need to keep track, I know exactly what I've been putting in my mouth. Who are we trying to fool? Many times we are just fooling our self or that other person trying to help us be accountable.

The problem is, as our busy lives go on, we tend to eat more or less than we think we do. We underestimate the exact amount of our daily intake because we fail to take into consideration portion sizes (guess what - it's usually much more than what we think) or grazing (such as taking a handful of jelly beans from a candy bowl) and fluid calories.

It's only when individuals are asked to write down everything they eat and drink that the true story is told. The importance of keeping a food diary goes way beyond just the food we eat.

Why Journal and tips for success:

1. Track daily: As much as we’d like to think we can, we won’t remember the next day if we don’t track it daily.

2. Write as you go: Don't wait until the end of the day to record what you ate and drank.

3. Focus on portion size: Practice at home with measuring cups, measuring spoons, or food scales. And be aware that people tend to underestimate how much food they are served.

4. Share it: showing your food diary to someone else is even better, in terms of accountability; "You're accountable to yourself when you're writing it down and you're accountable to other people who are looking at your food record"

5. Do it for a full week. Weekends tend to bring a bit different tendencies, so it is really important to include those days too.

6. Record everything you put in your mouth. We cannot effectively help you if you are deliberately leaving “cheat” type foods out, or other things that you know are not the best for your outcome. You can eat whatever the heck you want. Do not leave off meals and foods you know don’t help you, when you write them down, it is a confession of sorts. Once you write it down, it is admitting that you ate it and you can move forward. If that cheat made you physically feel bad, it will be easy to pinpoint the problem!

7. Record sleep, stress level and exercise type and length.

8. List your Portion Sizes: You've documented everything that goes into your mouth, but haven't lost a pound! It might be because you failed to mention you ate three handfuls of peanuts-not just that one right before lunch. The problem isn't always eating too much, either. When you record the quantities of food you consume, you're more likely to notice if having a small breakfast leads to overdoing it at dinnertime (or what have you).

9. Don't Skip your Indulgent Days! This is important don't miss out on what you love just try to keep things in moderation. Say you love Dessert, well that's great. Treating your self to a some once a week is way better than a bowl of ice cream every night. Sometimes it's even more enjoyable that way knowing you've waited for it.

So are you ready to get started but don't know exactly what is the first step? That's easy you can download one of many apps for free or use a plane old notebook! I'm a big fan of My Fitness Pal. In fact our Nutrition app integrates directly with My Fitness Pal.

If you need to some on this journey I’m here to help.

Use the button below to book your Free Nutrition Consultation.

Sara Benson
Nutrition Coach